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This post was originally published on 9/3/2019 and updated on 3/9/2020.
Did you know March is Brain Injury Awareness Month? This is a story about suffering a traumatic brain injury. #ChangeYourMind
Have you ever met an individual who immediately made an impression? Or maybe had a very brief conversation with someone who was difficult to listen to but at the same time intriguing? Last year, I had an encounter with a gentleman who within 3 minutes told me he was thankful and blessed to be alive and wrote a book about it. He told me the name of the book and that it was on Amazon. A couple of weeks later, I bought it and WOW am I glad! Have you ever wondered what life is like for someone with a traumatic brain injury?
I met Ryan during a biking event. Every Monday during the spring, summer, and fall our city sponsors a slow-roll bike ride. Most of the time there are over 1,000 people on their bicycles riding in various parts of our great city to mingle, learn some history about the area they ride in. You never know who you are going to meet during these rides because there are so many different people who attend and the crowds get larger every year! On one special occasion, I was very lucky to meet Ryan Young, the author of this book.
During our very brief encounter, I noticed Ryan was very slow to speak and repeated himself a little bit. I work with individuals with different disabilities, accents, etc. and it was still a little difficult for me to understand what he was saying. However, I was able to pinpoint the conversation – he wrote a book. I was intrigued.
- Read: Easy (large print)
- Pages: 100 pages (including two short notes at the end from both Ryan’s Mom and Helper, Leo Ward)
- Format: Paperback
- Click the picture below for additional info!
I have said it before and I will say it again – I am not a fast reader, nor do I enjoy reading many things (I like to skim). This book was perfect for me!
The title is two-fold:
Thankful / Traumatic
Blessed / Brain
Individual / Injury
This is the story about a 5-year-old boy, who suffered a traumatic brain injury and everything that his life became afterward. Ryan overcame each and every obstacle put in front of him and continues to do so each and every day of his life (even in his 30’s). You will learn how his strong faith, love, the community, and his positivity all contribute to his survival and success. He is definitely a thankful and blessed individual. Ryan has become a celebrity of sorts, a poster child for spreading love and delivering his message ‘never stop believing in miracles’ daily through speaking engagements and everyday life.
This book is not only a great, quick read but teaches life lessons for anyone overcoming obstacles. For those suffering in life for any reason…bullying, medical situations, body image issues, stress, death of a friend or loved one, unemployed, etc. this book is a read that will make you think differently. It may even get you out of the negativity and thrust you into positivity. Reading this book definitely helped to change my mind. Why not read it and #ChangeYourMind?
I highly recommend this book. In fact, I gave it to my nephews (9 and 12 years old) to read because, in my opinion, it is a fabulous story and a great learning tool. When I was young, I was afraid of others who were different. Why? Most likely because I never understood what was wrong. Teachers didn’t explain how and why others were different – they were just put in a different classroom for disabled students. I believe this book will help others not only how to understand, talk to, and work with those who have disabilities but also help them with their own obstacles they may encounter in life. (And to maybe satisfy a reading requirement – this is a great life lesson book and most kids want to read out sports, action figures or cartoons)! If we all encourage positivity and love, we will all be thankful, blessed individuals no matter what obstacles are in our way!
Since this post was originally published, my soon-to-be 13-year-old nephew has read this book and we chatted about it recently. Here is his synopsis:
“Thankful Blessed Individual” is a book about Ryan Young. 5 year old at the time was hit by a truck being driven by a drunk driver on his neighborhood street. He flew out of his shoes and landed in the distance on the road. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and he got saved by just the perfect miracle.My nephew Maxim 🙂
Some quotes in the book that caught my attention:
“Getting angry at someone with an injured brain for being slow, running late or forgetting an important thing, is like getting angry at someone with a broken leg for not running a marathon fast enough.”Ryan Young
“…he who is not courageous enough to take risks and believe in him/herself, will accomplish nothing in life.”
“To be rich is not what you have in your bank account, but what you have in your heart. It always makes me feel good when I’m able to help people.”
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”Ryan Young
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month
The Brain Injury Association of America created a public awareness campaign in 2018 to help raise awareness about brain injuries and the needs of people and families that live this them. To learn more, please watch the video below and join the #ChangeYourMind campaign!
Want to learn more about traumatic brain injuries specifically? Click here to learn about causes, symptoms, and treatments!
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